A detailed numerical study on the evolution of droplet size distribution of dibutyl phthalate in a laminar flow diffusion chamber

Feng Jia, Zi Yi Li, David Y.H. Pui, Chuen Jinn Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A numerical model was used to study the homogeneous nucleation process of dibutyl phthalate (DBP) vapor in a laminar flow diffusion chamber (LFDC); the spatial and temporal evolution of DBP droplet size distribution was governed by the population balance equation (PBE). In the PBE, the nucleation rate was calculated by the self-consistent correction nucleation theory (SCCNT), droplet coagulation, vapor and droplet deposition losses were considered. The simulation results showed that the nucleation rate predicted by the SCCNT improved the underestimation of that predicted by the classical nucleation theory. Due to vapor deposition before nucleation and droplet deposition after nucleation on the wall, the DBP mass loss was severe, accounting for about 86.3% of the total inlet vapor mass, and the droplet size distribution shifted towards larger diameters. The simulation results agreed well with the experimental data in terms of the droplet size distribution and average number concentration at the outlet of the LFDC because of the detailed droplet dynamic, transport and deposition mechanisms treated in this model. Based on this model, the number of molecules in the critical cluster was calculated using the first nucleation theorem and found to be larger about 50% than that calculated using the Gibbs-Thompson equation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-433
Number of pages11
JournalKorean Journal of Chemical Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020



  • Coagulation
  • Dibutyl Phthalate
  • Homogeneous Nucleation
  • Laminar Flow Diffusion Chamber
  • OpenFOAM®
  • Vapor and Droplet Deposition

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